Monday, November 30, 2009

Special Treats

Amidst the mayhem of Thanksgiving morning, we paused to thank the Lord for all that He has done for us this year. I started a new tradition of having each person present write down in a journal at least one of the things that they were thinking about. Since two-year old Jesse hasn't quite grasped the concept of penmanship, I asked her, "Jesse, what are you thankful for?" Ready to record whatever she might say, I listened intently, yet not really expecting a reply. Slowly, she began. "I'm thankful for..." Pause. "I'm thankful for..." Pause. "I'm thankful for...special treats." My surprise that she had heard me and understood me could not be contained! Special treats are what we call candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, and just about anything else that we know will bring glee to our little girl. So she knows, I thought, that these are the things she's thankful for; she understands that these are things that bring her little heart delight. And, I began praying fervently that the Lord in His saving grace would begin to transform her special treats from the fleeting joy of food to the everlasting joy of making much of Him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Watched Pot

Oh, no! Not again! Almost every day I put a 2-quart pot of water on the stove to make iced tea. When the water comes to a boil, I add seven tea bags, let it steep for a few hours, and then I add a cup of sugar. Ahhh. Our favorite drink. In the time it takes the water to boil, I often convince myself that I can get some other things done about the house and still remember to come back to put the tea bags in. And yet, I don't always remember. Many times when I return, the water has almost boiled away, and at least four times, I've returned to find a completely blackened pot. (By God's grace, I haven't burned the house down!) How can I continue to make this dangerous mistake? Because of my stubbornness to believe that this time I won't forget. Too often, we can be this same way with our belief that we don't need God and His Word to live the Christian life. "Oh, I know what the Bible says; I've read it before," we mutter to ourselves. "I'll remember." No, just like my boiling water requires my immediate attention, so our souls need constant care. "With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!" (Psalm 119:10)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Windy Conditions

Listening to the wind whip through the willow oaks outside my window, I begin to grow tense. What if one of those towering trees topples right onto our roof? "Preach truth to yourself," I say in response to my fears. Do not be anxious about anything. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Cast your cares upon Him. You are in no greater danger right now than you were when the sun was shining and the winds were at rest. The Lord holds me in the palm of His hand, and not even a sparrow will fall to the ground apart from His will. As the storm outside rages on, the storm inside grows calm.